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Posted by Raine Hutchens on Jan 20, 2012

World of Warcraft Trading Card Game – Crown of the Heavens Preview

Ask anyone I know and they’ll tell you that it’s no secret I’m a World of Warcraft fan. I play the MMO like clockwork, and I even manage my own guild. When it comes to gaming, though, I’m also a pretty big tabletop kind of guy, and for that reason I’ve taken a liking to the WoW Trading Card Game (TCG). I’ve been playing for a while now, and it’s becoming almost as big of a passion as playing the actual MMO. The TCG for WoW is made by Cryptozoic, and they’ve just announced some details about the new set that’s about to release for the game, called Crown of the Heavens. I decided to take some time and detail it a bit, just so you guys can see what to expect when this new set drops!

Crown of the Heavens is the second set in the Aftermath block, coming right after Throne of the Tides. This set follows the beings of Nordrassi, the World Tree. Continuing with the introduction of Monster Allies and Monster Heroes, brand new creatures enter the fray in Crown of the Heavens, and they’re all a force to be reckoned with. There will also be some new key abilities, or mechanics, that will show up in the new set, and I’ll go over them first.

As seen with Remulos, Son of Cenarius above, one of the new abilities in Crown of the Heavens is called Harmonize. When a card has Harmonize, you pay 1 less resource to play any ally with a printed cost of 4 or more. These Harmonize abilities stack, so if you have four cards on the field with the ability then you can effectively get out 4-cost cards for nothing. Filling your deck with cards that take advantage of Harmonize can make for a very quick and painful match for your opponent.

The next ability that’s coming in Crown of the Heavens is Smash, and I can tell it’s going to be my favorite. When an ally has Smash, if it would deal more than fatal combat damage to another ally, the spilled over damage then gets dealt to that ally’s controller’s hero. For example, let’s say you have an ally that deals 6 damage. That ally is in combat with an opponent’s ally that only has 4 health. Your ally will deal fatal damage to the defender, leaving an excess of 2 damage points. With Smash, these left over damage points spill on to the opposing ally’s controller’s hero. It’s extra damage! Giving your allies Smash and following that up with buffs to their attack power can make for easy and quick skirmishes, all with your opponent’s hero taking damage the whole time!

Smash comes in with a new addition of Ogres in the new set. Cryptozoic really wanted to add more huge allies into the game to make it possible for players to really deliver a beatdown to their opponents. Take this guy for instance:

He is just a brute with chunk enough to take a beating, and he only has a printed cost of 6! Ogres are going to make a big appearance in Crown of the Heavens, and they’ll bring with them plenty of destruction. There will be new Ogre allies, abilities, and even a big nasty Ogre hero for players to take advantage of.

Another focus feature of the new set is yet another race that’s been left in the shadows – Demons. Demons have shown up in the TCG before, but mainly as summons for Warlocks. This time they will be introduced as their own entities – we will see both Demon allies and Demon heroes. Here’s a look at a Demon ally, and on the card you can see a glimpse of just how these guys will play out:

So can you see the strategy behind the Demons? Basically, they all play off of your opponent’s hero having 15 or more damage on them at any given time. As long as this damage is stuck on their hero, your Demons will either gain buffs to their attack power, create more Demon Monster allies per turn, or even cause instant damage. In addition to doing direct abilities, some cards will force opponents to make decisions, and their choices will either give you the upper hand, or force them to take damage.

More Alliance and Horde cards make an appearance, along with a special location card to mark the set:

Let’s see, with nothing better to do off the first turn, or with an extra resource to use, you can certainly benefit from this card. Use it to heal your wounded allies, or start milling through your deck to get to exactly what you need. No matter what you need, the World Tree has you covered until the end.

Crown of the Heavens is set to release on February 7th, which isn’t too far away. It will have 64 Commons, 60 Uncommons, 24 Heroes, 60 Rares, and 10 Epics in its vault. If you’re looking to jump into the World of Warcraft TCG, or if you’ve been waiting to get some new features thrown at you, this new set will deliver what you’re seeking. I know I’ll be working on a new Monster deck, and going against my better judgement, I may even play Alliance. Get ready for Crown of the Heavens next month!

Crown of the Heavens – Cryptozoic

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